Do You Have SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) in Digital Media?

Have you heard of SOS, or Shiny Object Syndrome? It’s the tendency to chase what’s new rather than staying focused on a current plan.

The behavior is like that of a child. My three-year-old is attracted to things she’s never seen before. but what’s impressive is how quickly she loses interest in that item. I’m sure we’ve all seen kids open birthday or Christmas presents and experience a moment of excitement only to see them three hours later playing with the same Lego set or video game they’ve had for months or years.  

You may be asking “how does this correlate to digital media?” Over my 10-plus years working in the industry, I cannot count the number of vendors or platforms promising the world (cross-device attribution, geo-fencing down the foot even in multi-story highly trafficked areas, etc.).

Time and time again, I witness companies fall hook, line and sinker for these products only to be severely disappointed with the subpar results. Not only that, but those same clients become jaded with the digital advertising industry overall to the point of no longer seeing it as the valuable communications tool it is for their business. 

While new technology is what drives our industry, Shiny Object Syndrome can be applied to a lot of new technology being presented to clients today.

There is tremendous value in building a solid foundation for digital media campaigns. The tried-and-true methods, none of which are necessarily sexy, produce the results you’re looking for time and time again while still allowing you to test and learn with new technology. As an industry, we need to do a better job overall of pausing before trying the latest trends and properly understanding: 

  1. Does this product live up to the hype first? What proof do I have that this will work?
  2. What is the P/L impact of allotting budget to these new tactics? 
  3. Do I risk proven tactics just to try something new? 
  4. Is this a shiny object or a change-maker for my campaigns moving forward? 

We’ve all been distracted by shiny objects. We’ve all made investments into platforms that we thought would transform our campaigns. Often, we have been sorely disappointed with the result when we step away from tried-and-true channels and tactics that have produced repeatable results for our campaigns. It’s time to re-focus our energy on what works vs. what we want to work and invest our time and energy there first before we begin looking for the next big thing. 

If you need a digital media partner WHO LISTENS to your challenges and can weigh the opportunities, reach out to me or the team at Brkthru.

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